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October 22, 2013

GAME PREVIEW: Wisconsin Lutheran @ Benedictine

Wisconsin Lutheran (2-4, 2-1 NACC)
vs.
Benedictine (4-2, 2-1 NACC)

Game No. 7 | Saturday, October 26, 2013 | 1 p.m.
Village of Lisle-Benedictine Sports Complex (3,000) | Lisle, Ill.

Live Audio | Live Stats | Live Video | Directions to Sports Complex

MILWAUKEE – Following a 21-13 Homecoming win over Aurora, the Wisconsin Lutheran College football team looks for its third straight victory when it travels to Illinois to face Benedictine. The teams enter the contest tied for third in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference with identical 2-1 conference records. This is the sixth all-time meeting between the two schools.

WARRIORS ON THE WEB: Nine of 10 Warriors football games will be webcast live on wlcsports.com with the pregame show beginning 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Scott Warras (play-by-play) and Sam Siemers (color analyst) will call the action from the booth all season long. All games, which are archived back to the 2002 season, are accessible to listeners at wlcsports.com.

LUCKY SEVEN: With last Saturday's win over Aurora, the Warriors have won seven straight Homecoming games. WLC has also won seven consecutive NACC home games dating back to 2011.

SERIES HISTORY: Saturday's showdown marks the sixth all-time meeting between Wisconsin Lutheran and Benedictine, with the Eagles leading, 3-2. After BenU took the first three meetings in the series, the Warriors have won two straight, including a 14-2 win at Raabe Stadium October 20, 2012.

10/20/12 - @ WLC 14, BenU 2
11/12/11 - WLC 23, @ BenU 21
11/10/10 - BenU 35, @ WLC 14
11/07/09 - @ BenU 16, WLC 14
11/08/08 - BenU 14, @ WLC 10

LAST MEETING: A strong defensive effort led the Warriors to a 14-2 win over Benedictine at Raabe Stadium last season on October 20. The game was scoreless until the third quarter, when Jordan Rabe returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown, the longest pick-six in school history. WLC added the lone offensive points of the game on a nine-yard touchdown run by Donavin Tucker later in the quarter. The lone score for BenU came with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Warriors were pinned deep in their own territory and intentionally took a safety.

The Warriors intercepted quarterback Cyle Schultz three times as the Eagles quarterback was 23-for-40 with 174 passing yards. Artie Monaco made seven catches for 90 yards and ran seven times for 43 yards for BenU. Mike Reeves picked up 54 yards on 14 carries to lead the Warriors, while Tucker handled 11 rushes for 48 yards. Warriors quarterback Zach Shaw threw just nine passes and completed four of them for 44 yards.  

WLC was held to just 143 yards compared to 313 yards for BenU, but the Eagles ran nearly twice the amount of plays in the game (79-41). Benedictine picked up 20 first downs while holding WLC to five.

ROAMING THE SIDELINES: Wisconsin Lutheran is guided by first-year head coach Ben Murphy, the second coach in WLC football history. Murphy takes over for Dr. Dennis Miller, who coached the program for its first 13 years before his retirement following the 2012 season. Miller compiled a 47-82 record in 13 seasons at WLC. Murphy spent the previous five seasons as the Warriors defensive coordinator. The Warriors defense ranked in the top three in the NACC in all five of Murphy's seasons as coordinator, including ranking first in the conference in 2012 and 2009. The WLC defense led NCAA Division III in pass defense a season ago and ranked in the top 10 in total defense, pass efficiency defense, and scoring defense. Murphy was a four-year starter (2001-2004) on the defensive line for WLC and was a two-time All-MIAA selection. Prior to coaching the Warriors, Murphy was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Division II Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

ACROSS THE FIELD: Jon Cooper is in his ninth season as the head football coach at Benedictine. Prior to his arrival at BenU in 2005, Cooper spent 19 seasons as an assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebackers coach at current NACC member Aurora. Entering the game Saturday, Cooper holds a career collegiate coaching mark of 46-42.

2012 WARRIORS FLASHBACK: The Warriors had their best season in school history, going 7-3 a season ago. Each Warriors win was by 10 points or more as they had two shutout wins. WLC had a balanced attack that averaged 26.6 points per game and 357 yards of total offense per game (176 rushing, 181 passing). The defense surrendered just 13 points per game and 232 yards per contest (109 rushing, 123 passing). Wisconsin Lutheran has finished 5-2 in conference play each of the last two seasons, finishing third in the NACC both times.

Sept. 1

at Ripon

W, 31-0

Sept. 8

Olivet

W, 38-14

Sept. 15

Adrian

L, 31-23

Sept. 29

Lakeland*

W, 27-17

Oct. 6

at Concordia Chicago*

L, 21-9

Oct. 13

at Aurora*

W, 28-14

Oct. 20

Benedictine*

W, 14-2

Oct. 27

at Maranatha*

W, 48-0

Nov. 3

Rockford*

W, 34-14

Nov. 10

at Concordia Wisconsin*

L, 17-14

2012 EAGLES FLASHBACK: BenU was 5-5 last season and 3-4 in NACC play as they finished in fifth place. The Eagles ranked second to WLC in the NACC in total defense, holding opponents to 272 yards per game.

Aug. 30

at Wheaton

L, 48-7

Sept. 8

at North Park

W, 30-22

Sept. 15

Albion

W, 32-28

Sept. 29 

Concordia Wisconsin*

L, 6-0

Oct. 6

at Aurora*

L, 41-30

Oct. 13

Rockford*

W, 28-0

Oct. 20

at Wisconsin Lutheran*

L, 14-2

Oct. 27

Concordia Chicago*

L, 26-13

Nov. 3

Maranatha*

W, 34-6

Nov. 10

at Lakeland*

W, 28-3

WISCONSIN LUTHERAN UPDATE: The Warriors won their second straight game with a 21-13 victory over Aurora on Homecoming at Raabe Stadium last Saturday. Donavin Tucker's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave WLC an early lead. Aurora scored the next 13 points to take a 13-7 lead in the second quarter. WLC grabbed the lead for good on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Drew Dyrssen to Mitch Skarban in the second quarter. The lone score of the second half came on a 37-yard touchdown run for Mike Reeves late in the third quarter to give the Warriors a 21-13 lead. The Warriors defense shutout the Spartans in the second half and made three of their four interceptions in the final half. WLC also sacked quarterback Jace Koerner six times.

The defense was led by terrific efforts from Jestin Heimbruch who recorded 10 tackles, Sam Dunham with nine tackles, a tackle for a loss, and an interception, and Tanner Behnke with eight tackles and 1.5 sacks. Luke Sebald added 2.5 sacks. 

Offensively, WLC benefitted from an outstanding rushing attack with 242 yards on the ground. Tucker racked up 88 yards, Reeves finished with 76 yards and Dyrssen ran for 48 yards. Dyrssen was 10-for-24 passing for 117 yards and a score. Skarban made three grabs for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Starting quarterback Drew Dyrssen has completed 47 percent of his passes this season and has averaged 200 passing yards per game with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Reeves is the Warriors leading rusher with 380 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns, while Donavin Tucker has piled up 276 yards (4.1) and five scores. Mitch Skarban has been the top receiver with 22 grabs for 384 yards and two touchdowns. Sam Dunham and Jestin Heimbruch have anchored WLC's defense with 45 tackles apiece. Heimbruch has a team-best six tackles for loss and Cody Thurber leads the Warriors with four sacks.   

WLC has averaged 24.2 points per game on 369 yards per game offensively (229 passing, 140 rushing). Defensively, WLC has allowed 24.7 points per game on 415 yards per game (229 passing, 186 rushing).

Sept. 7

Ripon

L, 31-24

Sept. 14

at Olivet

L, 14-10

Sept. 21

at Hope

L, 37-7

Oct. 5

at Lakeland*

L, 40-34 (OT)

Oct. 12

Concordia Chicago*

W, 49-13

Oct. 19

Aurora*

W, 21-13

Oct. 26

at Benedictine*

1 p.m.

Nov. 2

Maranatha

1 p.m.

Nov. 9

at Rockford*

12 p.m.

Nov. 16

Concordia Wisconsin*

1 p.m.

SCOUTING BENEDICTINE: The Eagles won their second straight game with a 30-13 win at Rockford last Saturday. Michael McNulty bolstered the BenU offense with 31 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Cyle Schultz was 8-for-18 passing with 98 passing yards and a touchdown. Jarrett Lecas led the defense with seven tackles and an interception.

McNulty has piled up 806 yards (4.5 per carry) and 10 touchdowns on the season. Schultz has completed 55 percent of his passes for 187 yards per game, six touchdowns and one interception. Blake Anders leads the receiving corps with 18 catches for 330 yards and three scores. Jarrett Lecas leads the Eagles defense with 44 tackles and three interceptions.

Sept. 7

Wheaton

L, 48-27

Sept. 14

North Park

W, 36-10

Sept. 21

at Kalamazoo

W, 28-23

Oct. 5

at Concordia Wisconsin*

L, 28-27

Oct. 12

Aurora*

W, 33-23

Oct. 19

at Rockford*

W, 30-13

Oct. 26

Wisconsin Lutheran*

1 p.m.

Nov. 2

at Concordia Chicago*

1 p.m.

Nov. 9

at Maranatha

12 p.m.

Nov. 16

Lakeland*

1 p.m.

NACC LEADERS: Wisconsin Lutheran is second in the NACC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 24.7 points per game  … They are third in the conference in total defense at 415.7 yards per game … Tied for the NACC lead with 16 sacks … Tied for second in the NACC with eight interceptions … Drew Dyrssen is third in the conference with 199.7 passing yards per game … Mike Reeves ranks fifth in the conference with 380 rushing yards and is tied for third with six rushing touchdowns… Mitch Skarban is fifth in the NACC with 384 receiving yards … Sam Dunham and Jestin Heimbruch are tied for fourth in the league with 45 tackles … Cody Thurber is tied for the NACC lead with four sacks.

Benedictine leads the conference in scoring defense, allowing 24.2 points per game … They are second in the league in total defense at 375.7 yards per game … Michael McNulty is the NACC's top rusher with 806 yards and a league-high 10 touchdown runs … Jarrett Lecas is second in the NACC with three interceptions.

IN THE POLLS: Wisconsin Lutheran garnered three first-place votes in the 2013 NACC Preseason Poll and was picked to finish second by the league's head coaches and sports information directors with 85 poll points. Benedictine was picked to finish fourth with 53 poll points. Concordia Wisconsin gained 90 points and 10 first-place votes as the Falcons were predicted to win the league.

2013 NACC PRESEASON POLL:
1. Concordia Wisconsin (10), 90
2. Wisconsin Lutheran (3), 85
3. Aurora (1), 66
4. Benedictine, 53
5. Concordia Chicago, 49
6. Lakeland, 31
7. Rockford, 18

NEXT WEEK: Wisconsin Lutheran will host a non-conference tilt against Maranatha (1-5) next Saturday at 1 p.m. Benedictine is on the road against Concordia Chicago (1-5, 1-2 NACC) at 1 p.m. Maranatha is hosting Rockford (0-6, 0-3 NACC) this week at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK'S NACC RESULTS:
Concordia Wisconsin 48, Concordia Chicago 42
Wisconsin Lutheran 21, Aurora 13
Lakeland 55, Maranatha 14
Benedictine 30, Rockford 13 

THIS WEEK'S NACC GAMES:
Rockford @ Maranatha, 1 p.m.
Concordia Chicago @ Aurora, 1 p.m.
Wisconsin Lutheran @ Benedictine, 1 p.m.
Lakeland @ Concordia Wisconsin, 1 p.m.

NEXT WEEK'S NACC GAMES:
Concordia Wisconsin @ Rockford, 12 p.m.
Benedictine @ Concordia Chicago, 12 p.m.
Maranatha @ Wisconsin Lutheran, 1 p.m.
Aurora @ Lakeland, 1 p.m.
 

2013 STANDINGS

NACC

OVERALL

Concordia Wisconsin

2-0

4-2

Lakeland

2-0

4-2

Benedictine

2-1

4-2

Wisconsin Lutheran

2-1

2-4

Concordia Chicago

1-2

1-5

Aurora

0-2

1-5

Rockford

0-3

0-6

 

Wisconsin lutheran college

8800 West Bluemound Road

Milwaukee, WI 53226

414.443.8800

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